Monday, July 03, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

 Matthew 10:40-42

‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’ 

Where joy is

Jesus is present in every love, every righteous heart, every word of grace, every act of justice and in every moment of kindness. To welcome any of these gifts is to receive the Great Giver who is the source and inspiration of every good and gracious moment we encounter.

I long to receive you in every good and gracious thing, Jesus. It is a joy to know and welcome you. But today my great joy is not receiving but giving.

Even the smallest acts awaken a surplus of joy exceeding any reasonable expectation. Writing an email to bless and encourage, greeting the dog-walkers as I tread my morning path, insignificant moments, yet in them I know your living Love flowing through me, lifting my heart to disproportionate joy.

Staying away from the Lord’s Table for one Sunday to soak in the sun, I feel a longing to bless, to speak of the Love beyond all naming. And there you are, telling me who I am. I was made for blessing, to stand with words grace on my lips, eager for ears to hear and hearts to awaken to Love’s presence even if it flows through a vessel as faulty as me.

Jesus, you invite us to pay attention and welcome all in whom the signs of Love appear—the prophet, the just, the kind and gracious. Welcoming them is welcoming you, Love’s presence among us.

But today, I feel myself on the other side of the relationship, a giver not a receiver.

I recoil from the honor and elevation of this. It is too great a thing to imagine that I am the prophet to be received, the righteous soul to be welcomed. I am none of these things.

Yet, I feel and know the grace you are flowing through me, Jesus. I hear my words … my words … blessing others. And in spite of my manifold imperfections, I know that I am vessel of the Love who is … and in receiving me hearts actually know and welcome the Loving Mystery you are. And I … I know joy, exceeding and disproportionate. Your joy.

St. Francis was right. It is in giving we receive.

Pr. David L. Miller

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